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Three London weeklies to shut

11 April 2014

Three weekly London local papers are to shut, with job losses elsewhere on the capital’s Trinity Mirror titles.

Trinity Mirror told staff this morning of the closure of the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle, Westminster Chronicle and Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle from 25 April.

The closures mean the potential loss of three reporters, one sports reporter, and one photographer along with non-editorial roles.

The company has also said that the Uxbridge Gazette, Hounslow Chronicle and Ealing Gazette titles are switching from door-to-door distribution to free pick-up while the Harrow Observer, the only title with a rival (the Harrow Times), is remaining door-to door. There is a potential loss of three reporters, two photographers and one sales manager as a result.

The Uxbridge office is also being closed with staff relocated to Watford, other Trinity Mirror Southern offices or expected to work remotely.

The Buckinghamshire Examiner and Buckinghamshire Advertiser, produced out of Uxbridge as paid-for weeklies, will be relocating to Watford but there are no product or job changes.

Laura Davison, national organiser, said:

“This announcement has come as a terrible shock to the hardworking staff of these titles.The speed of it means there is little time to look at meaningful alternatives to closure.Trinity Mirror should not simply be able to shut down these titles and lock them away after years of starving them of resources.It will leave some communities with no local paper, depriving them of a way to access information and hold local power to account. Readers and the Trinity Mirror journalists who serve them, deserve better.”

Martin Shipton, chair of the Trinity Group chapel, said:

"These closures would leave many communities in the outer London area without a local paper, as well as Fulham, a significant and densely populated part of the capital. There is a compelling need for journalistic scrutiny of the budget of local authorities which cover the circulation of these papers. Instead of shutting them down, Trinity Mirror should be investing in quality journalism, for which the public undoubtedly retains an appetite."

Tags: , london, trinity mirror, newspapers, cuts